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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  December 18, 2009 9:00am-11:00am EST

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that. it's so strange he does not answer to ed any more, but vice chancellor this and vice chancellor that. >> yeah, he walks around with a suit with a light saver thing. >> you were wonderful and you real really put together teamwork. you will missed. >> we will see you in massachusetts, eddie. >> our executive producer is telling us to shut up. i can hear it. >> go to cnn.com/am news fix. we have a lot going on in the "cnn newsroom" today. we are talking first about this presidential push at the climate change summit. there you see president barack obama. time is running out to make a deal over global warming.
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and also this morning, seeing red over blue laws. you know what those are, right? in much of the country where you live can always affect what you do on sundays. those restrictions based on the religion can be a real god sent. and then airfares are suddenly falling. will they ring in a cheaper new year? good morning, everybody. i am heidi collins today. it's friday, december 18th. you are in the "cnn newsroom." president obama seizes the world stage and scolds world leaders. ed henry joins us from copenhagen. >> reporter: the clock is ticking and the president is sleeping on air force one as he flew overnight thursday into friday to get into copenhagen. we are just a few hours on the ground.
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he ripped up his schedule when he got here. he was supposed to have a one-on-one meeting with the danish prime minister, but then went into a emergency meeting with 20 leaders trying to break the jam here. and after the private meeting the president went public with what was tough talk, basically telling his fellow leaders it's time to stop posturing and time to act. >> the time for talk is over. this is the bottom line. we could embrace this accord, and take a substantial step forward, and continue to refine it, and build upon its foundation. we can do that and everybody in this room will be part of a historic indendeavor, one that makes life better for our children and grandchildren, or we can choose delay.
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>> reporter: let's talk specifics. the president basically in the speech laying out a three-part proposal, and a three-part proposed deal, saying there should be mitigation. that means that these leaders should agree to cut carbon emissions. second, he wants china to show that they will be more transparent and they are following through on the commitment, something the chinese has refused to do so far behind closed doors, and finally, talking about money, the u.s. and other big powers will contribute to a global fund china has been pushing for, to help the poorer countries around the world deal with global warming. the president had a meeting with the chinese premiere. and there was a little progress, a little common ground found in the meeting and they are hopeful of cutting a deal, and i spoke to other officials close to the
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talk that said at best it's pretty rocky. >> and we keep talking about health care and how high those stakes are for health care reform. internationally the stakes are high regarding this issue of global warming and getting some sort of deal out of this. >> reporter: it is. there is another comparison to health care, when you talk to environmental groups lobbying for a deal here, and just like we are seeing the reform bill in the senate for health care watered down, it's not really health reform. and so it might be really watered down, because the president put more pressure on himself by not coming in the beginning but coming in the final hours. one final note, the president is supposed to leave in a couple hours, but white house officials are saying his departure from copenhagen is to be determined.
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that suggests he may stay longer to do lobbying if he thinks it's close enough that he might help. >> we appreciate your hope live out of copenhagen this morning. in the background of the climate change talks, efforts to hammer out a nuclear arms treaty between united states and russia. and optimism for a deal has been up and down in recent days. the latest sign from russia's foreign ministry says the deal could be struck within hours. a late-night vote puts the senate one step closer to paying for the wars in iraq and afghanistan. the vote closed the debate on the spending measure. it provides money for the wars, but also includes an expansion of benefits for millions of unemployment americans. a final vote on the spending bill could come as early as tomorrow. voting on the spending measure clears the way for the senate to focus on the health care debate. to pakistan now.
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at least 12 people are dead after a car bomb exploded near a police compound. it happened in northwest pakistan where troops have been battling militant fighters. 28 others were injured in the blast, and the police chief tells the associated press the suicide bomb exploded after they were leaving a mosque for friday prayers. and mullen has been asked about reports that iraqi militants hacked into video from unmanned u.s. drones. he said it did not cause any significant military damage. we have more on this. elaine, good morning to you. remind us how the whole security breach happened and maybe even more interestingly, the reaction to it. >> what is so interesting, and what people find disturbing about this, is how this happened in the first place. all it took, heidi, was
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inexpensive software. this is made by a russian company. it sells for as little as $25.95 on the internet. it allows users to take advantage of unprotected links. now, a senior defense official, as you can imagine, very hez tent to talk details, but insisted this is a problem that is an old issue for the military, and that has been addressed, and one that has been fixed. in addition, another u.s. official said, heidi, that american troops and american combat missions were not compromised by the breach. >> what is this all about? what is the takeaway from this being that it has happened before, too? >> it has. that's another thing that experts say is really disturbing
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as well, because the u.s. military has had this knowledge of this particular problem. in fact i talked to one expect, heidi, who said they have known about this. this is what happened in bosnia. even more recently, there was a cia report in 2005 that said saddam hussein was suspected of doing the exact same thing, basically looking at video that was coming in over u.s. installations in iraq after the iraqi hackers were able to essentially do the same thing, intercept some of the information that was being brought in by some drones over iraq. so bottom line here, heidi, this is certainly not a new problem for the military. experts are saying frankly that something should have been done sooner. >> the big question is how sensitive is, and what was bosnia and saddam hussein able to do with the information they
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got? >> the problem is, even if they did not do anything with it the fact that they had it in the first place is a huge problem, because what it means is that in the future other groups know that they will be able to basically puncture through whatever layers of security existed. obviously now the military is saying that they have taken steps to insure that this does not happen again, but at the same time what they point to here is the fact that they should have been keeping up with this all along, why wasn't the security baked into the process from the get go. they say it's like a criminal, basically, being able to listen in on a police scanner, and they liken it to the fact that that criminal might not do anything at that moment, but just knowing that they have that ability to hear what police are saying, where they are going, that in and of itself is a huge vulnerability. >> we will watch this story and the fallout from it.
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thank you. a much watched international custody child dispute is being watched. as this man arrived, a supreme court justice ordered a new review of the case. new jersey congressman chris smith has been working to help goldman get his son back. >> justice could have done the right thing, and he chose poorly and unwisely. this has become a major embarrassment to the brazilian government. >> here is a look now at how this case progressed. if you can follow all of this. 2004, goldman's brazilian wife took their son to brazil for vacation but did not come back. she filed for divorce. and then the court ruled the boy was wrongfully taken from the united states but did not force his return.
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and then the boy's mother remarried and then died last year in childbirth in february. and then this year goldman got to see his son for the first time in five years. since then the united states government has been pressuring brazil to resolve the case. a court order in june gave goldman custody and the brazilian government stepped in and ordered a review. now, spinning out of recession. our ali velshi has the story of a trucker turned deejay. we are talking about a major snowstorm affecting everybody from richmond to boston. we will run it down when the "cnn newsroom" comes right back. watch real tv whenever you want. you don't need to get a phone. you need a phone that gets you.
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climate protection. challenges as vast as the space race a generation ago. and vital to global security. to reach this destination, our engineers are exploring every possibility. from energy efficiency to climate monitoring. securing our nations clean energy future is all a question of how. and it is the how that will make all the difference.
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♪ turning the tables on the
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economy. a former truck driver is surviving a bad economy by spinning tunes as a deejay. our chief business correspondent, ali velshi, is on the road this week. >> reporter: we talked about solutions more simple than others. this is a guy that has been in the trucking business for a while. that worked against him in the economy, and he went back to a hobby. he was a deejay and he decided he would do that full time. listen to his story. >> i go by deejay tap. i did it as a hobby mostly and i now do it full time because the trucking business did not work out for me. the gas prices went so high. everybody was complaining about paying $4 for regular, and we were paying $7 or $8 for diesel.
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i saw a guy, a full grown guy, a beard, a guy's guy, and this guy was crying because he had to fill his tanks, and it was fuel at $6 or $7 a gallon. what broke the camel's back was one of my simi's got on fire. i had a bunch of deejay equipment and i thought i would get back into it again. and the economy was bad and people were needing to save money people were booking deejays instead of booking a band because they were saving a couple hundred dollars. that's how i made a big comeback. i think things are going well for me. >> reporter: he says he is enjoying the deejay business. he did not have a gig last night or we could have shown you his
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handy work. >> that would have been great. thank you, ali. speaking about recovery, already trying to figure out how the weekend will go and how everybody can recover from it because there is a major winter storm brewing all along the east coast. rob marciano has been following it all morning long and has the latest now. rob, where are we at? >> all sorts of facets with the storm. we have temperatures that are certainly in the single numbers across parts of the northeast, and that's going to be an issue also. breezy conditions expected across parts of the south. tornado warning up for parts of naples right now, and a tornado watch out for the good chunk florida area here. cold air is built in enough parts of the northeast that we could see several inches -- well, in some cases over a foot of snow across parts of the northeast as we go through the next day or two.
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we have already seen a tremendous amount of rainfall from the system across parts of southern florida. and then that just ended last night at 1:00 a.m. they have seen more rain this morning. louisiana had quite a bit of rainfall as well. and then let's show you where the rainfall is with rain heavy across parts of the south and that in effect until 2:00 this afternoon. a tremendous amount of moisture as it moves up the eastern seaboard. so forecasts could be anywhere from 10-12 inches, and maybe more. certainly spots outside of d.c., and maybe more than that. and for some folks across the northeast, it looks like it would be a prewhite christmas.
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no snow on the ground for chicago, just lighter amounts right now and that is of the major cities least affected by this scenario. more in a bit. >> thank you. a major cancer break through. why this discovery could bring new hope for cancer treatment. than a comparable honda civic. this chevy traverse has better mileage than honda pilot. the all-new chevy equinox has better mileage than honda cr-v. and chevy malibu has better mileage than accord. however, honda does make something that we just can't compete with. it's self propelled. chevy. compare us to anyone and may the best car win.
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if you've had a heart attack caused by a completely blocked artery, another heart attack could be lurking, waiting to strike. a heart attack caused by a clot, one that could be fatal. but plavix helps save lives. plavix taken with other heart medicines, goes beyond what other heart medicines do alone, to provide greater protection against heart attack or stroke and even death by helping to keep blood platelets from sticking together and forming clots. ask your doctor about plavix. protection that helps save lives. people with stomach ulcers or other conditions that cause bleeding should not use plavix. taking plavix alone or with some other medicines including aspirin may increase bleeding risk, so tell your doctor when planning surgery. certain genetic factors and some medicines, such as prilosec, may affect how plavix works.
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tell your doctor all the medicines you take, including aspirin, especially if you've had a stroke. if fever, unexplained weakness or confusion develops, tell your doctor promptly. these may be signs of ttp, a rare but potentially life-threatening condition reported sometimes less than 2 weeks after starting plavix. other rare but serious side effects may occur. time now to check some of the top stories this morning. a florida man got out of prison 35 years after being wrongfully convicted of rape. >> i am now signing the order, sir. you are a freeman. congratulations. >> james bain says he is not angry. he was freed after dna evidence proved him innocent. the 54-year-old now says he wants to travel.
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an oklahoma judge is reviewing a controversial abortion law that could take affect in 2011 requires doctors to fill out a questionnaire documenting race and marital status and educational background of the abortion patients and they have to ask why, but they don't have to include the patient's name. it sets up a database that could help future unwanted pregnancies. we are talking about this story on the blog this morning. what do you think about posting information online about women that have abortions? go to cnn.com/heidi. i will read some comments coming up next hour.
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a major break through to tell you about. scientists say they broke the genetic code of skin and lung cancer. our chief medical correspondent, dr. sanjay gupta is with us. how do researchers do this and why is it so important? >> they were able to do this because they can sequence gee gnomes than they could before. they take a cancer cell and sequence its entire mutation. >> yeah, they find mutations
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specifically. and so skin cancer melanoma and lung cancer is what they concentrated on this time. 23,000 mutations for lung cancer. and the things i found interesting were a lot of the mutations were not going to be important. there were a few that mean everything. they made the tumor cells divide and make them grow, and they are controlling the cancer. the other thing i thought was interesting is the idea that our environment changes our genes. for every 15 cigarettes you smoke you cause a mutation in your lung. >> how did they determine that so specifically like that? >> it's based on modeling. it's very early science, but definitely we can affect our jeans through the environment? >> any way to know how this will have practical applications? >> well, we have seen this before with breast cancer. they have breast cancer genes,
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and there is a drug out there that was designed specifically to target some mutations. they will probably do the same thing for lung cancer and melanoma. and you are probably going to get advice, stop smoking and stay out of the sun, because we know the environment can protect our genes, and these are preventible cancers in large part. better treatments down the road. >> except for the weird cases of cancer in the lungs when people never touched a cigarette. >> yeah. blue laws, a red hot issue in states that could benefit from more shopping on sundays. but it is impossible to build a wall that separates a man from his freedom. because freedom always finds a path...
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to build peace. this film is dedicated to aung san suu kyi, still prisoner in burma. and when my symptoms-the coughing, wheezing, tightness in my chest came back- i knew i had to see my doctor. he told me i had choices in controller medicines. we chose symbicort. symbicort starts to improve my lung function within 15 minutes. that's important to me because i know the two medicines in symbicort are beginning to treat my symptoms and helping me take control of my asthma. and that makes symbicort a good choice for me. symbicort will not replace a rescue inhaler for sudden symptoms. and should not be taken more than twice a day. symbicort contains formoterol. medicines like formoterol may increase the chance of asthma-related death. so, it is not for people whose asthma is well controlled on other asthma medicines. see your doctor if your asthma does not improve or gets worse. i know symbicort won't replace a rescue inhaler. within 15 minutes symbicort starts to improve my lung function
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and begins to treat my symptoms. that makes symbicort a good choice for me. you have choices. ask your doctor if symbicort is right for you. (announcer) if you cannot afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help.
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. on wall street the dow has now fallen for three straight days, but today we have upbeat earning reports that could put investors back into a buying mood. susan, hi. >> happy friday to you. we are expecting a modestly higher open. two tech giants, oracle and research in motion posted quarterly results that topped wall street's estimates. oracle's revenue also increased following two quarters of
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decline thanks to sales of the computer programs. oracle considered a good barometer for the tech industry because it sales to so many types of business. and research in toegss profits jumped by double digits as well. the blackberry maker shipped a record number of phones, 10 million in three months despite stiff competition from the iphone. and another company meanwhile says plans to help out homeowners, first citi group, and now fannie mae suspends foreclosures for two weeks only. it's a sad moment for those of us who love all things swedish, including heidi collins.
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saub will continue to honor vehic vehicles. it's the cast of the broadway show that rang the opening bell. this is the latin and ballroom dance extravaganza. a married couple that worked together and danced together. i cannot imagine having a partner that does not step on my toes. >> this is the time of year to be sweet and loving, yes. >> yeah. >> we will check back later on with you. several states still have blue laws on the books. those are the laws that restrict what you can buy on sundays. as the economy continues to
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struggle, some states are considering scrapping blue laws to help them stay in the black by generating more tax dollars. some say that idea is not without controversy. >> reporter: tiz the season to eat, drink and be merry, exseptember you cannot do this on sundays in some parts of the country. >> this is a free country and people should be able to do what they choose to on whatever days. >> more than a dozen states have laws restricting alcohol sales on sundays, with three including georgia bank liquor store sales altogether. and some counties you cannot buy a car on sundays, dealerships must be closed. retail out let's cannot open before 1:30 on a sunday until they are selling necessary items like fuel or food. it's based on a centuries old
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christian concept. >> particularly statewide blue laws referenced the fact that, you know, you were not to profane the lord on the lord's day, and that you went to church on sundays. there would be no other work permitted on sunday. >> reporter: but sunday closings have little to do with religions today. this man is happy to close his doors on sundays for other reasons. >> it's a day of rest that i like taking personally, and professionally, all's we'll do is spread out six days worth of sales over seven, incurring over head costs that we don't have now. >> many small mom and pops need to keep the law around as a forced time-out from competition. >> this is not a religious thing any longer at least, and whether
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it's monday or sunday or saturday, or some other day of the week, small business owners in particular just need to have time off and they take that time off. >> reporter: blue laws or not, the founder of chick-fil-a never has had his business open on sunday. for him god is the bottom line. >> it teaches clearly, the lord rested for a day. when you work hard all week you need that day. more about faith and finances in a tight economy. christine romans is taking an in depth learn, and can you see more in her special, "in god we trust," only here on cnn. a new strike vote could be coming soon for the british employees. they say they are moving quickly after a british high court said
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their last vote was inaccurate. the strike was supposed to begin next tuesday. employees are upset over new staffing rules. no new strike will be called until after the holidays. president obama says time for talk is over. he is calling for a swift action at the u.n. climate change conference in copenhagen. the president told world leaders time is running short and the world will have to address climate change. he insists any deal must include transparency among nations. >> it's better for us to choose action over inaction, and the future over the past, and with courage and faith, i believe that we can meet our responsibilities to our people, and the future of our planet. >> the two-week long conference appeared stalled as late as yesterday, but there seemed to be a little bit of hope after the u.s. offered help to raise
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$100 billion to provide resources for developing nations to address their climate change needs. i should also let you know that this is what we are looking at. look at it. an amazing sight captured on tape. 4,000 feet beneath the sea. know what it is? for the first time scientists recorded the eruption of a deep sea volcano in the pacific ocean. this was presented in a geo physics conference in san francisco yesterday. beautiful, right? a submersible robot caught the images off the coast of samoa last may. i guess you could say this is the one time where procrastination pays off. if you have not booked a flight for the holidays, some airlines are offering last-minute bargain fares.
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here is a quick look at the top stories today. iran races the stakes over its nuclear program and defies the nuclear nations. it started making more efficient models of centrifuges. a new version of the health care bill could be seen in the senate today. majority leader, harry reid, has been tweaking the nearly $1 trillion bill in an effort to gain support from his fellow democrats. it's still unlikely anything will get past before the new year. an international custody battle gets uglier. david goldman, american father, arrived in brazil after a court ruled in favor of his custodial rights. as he got ready to return to new jersey with his 9-year-old son,
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brazil supreme court stepped in and anothered yet another review. the case has dragged on for more than five years. are you hacked off about this today in you might be if you tried to tweet overnight. hackers successfully broke in to the popular microblogging site, twitter.com. millions were left tweetless, but the problem seems to have now been fixed. thank goodness! if you waited until the last minute to book a flight for holidays, many airlines are slashing fares significantly. and we are joined by ben for more. this is an interesting move. what is the takeaway here, other than being able to get cheap flights and not having an excuse if you don't want to go home and see certain relatives for the holidays? >> yeah, if you were telling
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your mom or grandma that you were not going to be home because of high fares, you might be out of luck. business travelers are not traveling christmas week that much, so there is extra seats. maybe this is thinking that the seats did not sell as well as airlines hoped, even though they cut thousands and thousands of seats and there are still empty seats to sell. they are waiting for advanced purchase rules. if you could be creative about when you fly, just checked here a few moments ago, between new york and st. louis, it's 700 or $800 nonstop, and those are the dates everybody wants to fly, but if you leave the 21st and come back christmas night, the fair is $201 if you book right now. >> that's a $500 savings, right? >> yeah, and if you multiply it by two or three people in your
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party, the savings add up. >> what if you have something already and you want to change it? >> that's a great question. what if you already booked your 400 or $500 ticket, and now you see fares that are less? in most cases you are out of luck. you will probably get dinged for a ticket change fee if you want to change it, and say if it's $300 less, you might get hit with $150 fee, but still get money back in vouchers. it's not perfect, but it's something. >> yeah, let's talk about british airways quickly. news this morning there could be a new strike vote coming soon for employees that are disgruntled, that's probably the best way to put it. what could the effect here be? >> well, it's -- unfortunately,
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this is a labor management dispute. it will put holiday travels in the middle, and that's the leverage the employees are seeking to take advantage of here. the short of it is, regardless whether the british court system prevents the strike, really unhappy workers who are angry at management, and if somebody wants to put together a wildcat strike, little that could get them away. if you are flying that airline, you could be on the hook. >> we have seen this happen with several of the domestic airlines as well, in sickouts and all of that are very effective over the holiday season. what is the status of the airline industry by way of employees and how they are feeling about things, the
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environment? >> i think we are seeing a lot of things that will happen in 2010. we have had a longfestering dispute between two sets of pilots from us airways from the old american west and the old us airways. there has been a lot of discord at american. and a lot of contracts are up for negotiation. there is room for 2010 for management in the situations to make headway. on the flip side, if things go sour, we heard the threats of strikes at a couple airlines maybe this year, and right now they are threats. keep your fingers crossed. i think for the first half of 2010 we are in good shape. >> terrific, we appreciate your time. we love seeing you from usa today. >> ben came to us from washington, d.c. today which is one of the areas bracing for the winter storm we have been talking about all morning long. rob marciano is here with us now. >> a lot of people being affected by this right now in
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the form of rain and severe weather. as we go through tonight and tomorrow, it will be in the form of snow. we are monitoring this feed coming at us from an affiliate out that way which is enduring a tremendous amount of flooding. they got over 6 inches of rain in six hours, and totals getting close to a foot in spots. we have flooding issues on the roadways. and cars are being towed out of parking lots where they are completely submerged in some cases and flooded out. we will continue to watch that. not a good situation in broward county, the ft. lauderdale area. temperatures around the 68, 70 degrees mark. and 29 in d.c. and when you have a couple storms, one here, and one here, combining to head up to the northeast, that will create problems in the form of that colder air -- or that very, very moist air running into the very, very cold air, which will bring us snow. here is your heavy rain across
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parts of florida. also i should mention a tornado warning out for southern miami, near the homestead racetrack there. heavy rain through alabama and georgia. this is heading to the north. as far as snowfall totals, what we are expecting to see tomorrow night and lasting through tomorrow in d.c., we could see over a foot of snow in d.c. outside of d.c., one to two feet in spots, and in new york and philly, they will be next under the gun and will see lesser amounts but nonetheless winds and waves, and blizzard watches posted on long island over the weekend. >> i will give you incredible power and put you on the spot right now. >> is this a selfish question, because i know you are doing travel? >> yeah, there are other people heading to d.c. today from atlanta. make the trip, don't make the trip? your call. >> if have you a morning flight tomorrow you may get lucky, but if you have a afternoon flight,
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d.c. shuts down in a hurry, if we get the 12 inches we think they could get, it's going to be a rough weekend. >> i can get in but not out. thanks. i am holding you totally responsible. thank you. new bike and the usual wishes for christmas, but this little girl has a tall order. she wants her dad home for christmas. [sound of starter pistol] the race is on. who's going to win? the health insurance companies or us?
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we need lower costs, choice and real competition. but the insurance industry is spending millions to stop reform and protect their profits. remember, if the insurance companies win, we lose. tell congress we need good health care we can afford with the choice of a public health insurance option now. (announcer) the sinus triple threat.
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the debate over global warming. two different views, both citing science, neither conceding ground. mary snow talks to two of the most credible experts on opposite sides of the issue. >> reporter: to get an idea of how wallace broker really feels about climate change you only need to look outside his office. he's nicknamed this the climate beast. his point is the climate is angry and humans are provoking it. it's a subject he's been exploring for a long time. so long that broker is believed to have coined the phrase "global warming" back in 1975. >> and i immediately didn't like it, because i said -- well, i've written 480 scientific papers,
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i've written ten books. i'm going to go down in history as the first one to say global warming? >> reporter: the 78-year-old would rather you know him for his science. >> this is one of the great climate archives. >> reporter: much of his research has been done here, at columbia university's earth institute. this lab contains thousands upon thousands of samples of sediment collected from the ocean floor from all over the globe. right now he's focusing on the equatorial pacific. >> we're trying to understand how the ocean circulated during glacial time. >> reporter: he has been studying the climate of the planet over the last 25,000 years. he avoids specific predictions as most climate scientists do, but he's worried about the trajectory. >> i base my fears for the future not on what's happening but the fact that physics tells us that if we put these gasses in the atmosphere, we're going to warm the planet. and we're wrong about that, then
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we're out in left field on everything. >> reporter: richard lensen a professor of meteorology at mit is not worried. yes, he believes there's warming but not a significant amount. on his desk you'll see his piece of the 2007 nobel peace prize that al gore shared with scientists studying climate change. he seize things differently from other people on the panel. >> reporter: in terms of global warming, are you a denier or a doubter? >> closer to denier. >> reporter: why? >> you know, to say a doubter presumes a really good case but you have some questions. i think it's a very poor case. >> reporter: so what does he base his case on? he explains among other things he studies data from satellites like these to gauge the earth's cooling ability. >> so we're just looking at what the satellites are saying. they're saying it cools more effectively when you heat it up. >> reporter: he thinks other models rely too heavily on factors that have too many
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uncertainties. as for today's melting polar ice caps, he said the arctic is already recovering and dismisses projections that the climate is heading in a dangerous direction. >> i hope it goes away. most of these things have gone away in time. it's recognized it was a momentary hysteria. >> reporter: as for his theory that the clouds and water vapor will help regulate the climate, wallace says this. >> i'll give you 5% chance. but we don't sit back and do nothing based on that 5% chance because there's 95% chance that you're wrong. >> reporter: what's hysteria to richard is prudence to wallace. mary snow, cnn, new york. ahead now, hard times for charities and the growing number of people who now depend on them. we'll look at the holiday struggles of several charities and talk to the people who are running them. it's our snapshot across america next hour. is nuts! any ideas?
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story of the day here now. most kids ask santa for toys and
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games for christmas, but one little girl in georgia asked for her daddy, a soldier, to come back home. reporter renee from grzl shows us how santa delivered. >> christmas is the time for believing. >> reporter: an early visit from santa quite a surprise for little bo bellinger who turned 5. >> i love your shirt. it says my dad is a soldier. >> reporter: santa found out that's all this little girl wanted for christmas, a visit from her dad. tim bellinger has served in iraq and afghanistan off and on since he was born. santa told her wish really hard. >> i want my daddy home for christmas. >> say it again. >> i want my daddy home for christmas. >> christmas, okay. >> reporter: minutes later the doorbell rings and bo's wish is bigger than life. hugs help erase all the time dad's been away. >> being able to be here for her birthday, flying in this morning
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was just incredible for me. it just made my heart tickle. this is just a moment that santa will never forget. it's a moment that hopefully the family will never forget either. >> reporter: and bo's father told his daughter today he's not only home for the the holidays, the best present of all, he's back home for good. >> are you a daddy's girl? she's definitely a daddy's girl. >> reporter: bellinger has three other children. he says he's thrilled they're a family once again, but he has not forgotten his fellow soldiers who have died or are still fighting. those thoughts make this homecoming extra special. >> thank you. >> thank you. can i have a kiss. >> say thank you, santa. >> will you have a merry christmas now? welcome home. >> it doesn't get any better than that, does it? merry christmas to them. news that's happening right now, i want to tell you about this story in northern california. nerves are pretty rattled there. authorities are keeping a close eye on these apartment
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buildings. they're teetering on the edge of a coastal bluff crumbling from erosion and heavy rain. yesterday one of the buildings was evacuated after large chunks of the cliff plunged into the ocean leaving the structure just ten feet away from the edge of the 50-foot bluff. the obama administration is taking steps to include domestic abuse as a qualification for granting a person asylum in the united states. if adopted, the regulations would mark the first time the federal government formally recognizes domestic abuse victims in asylum cases. nearly all asylum applications involve political persecution. the mother of one of three american hikers jailed in iran is reaching out to the islamic republic's supreme leader in a video posted online. she appeals to ayatollah homeni to release her daughter and two friends for the holidays. the three have been jailed in iran for almost five months now for allegedly entering the country illegally.
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america has made our choice. we have charted our course, we have made our commitments, we will do what we say. now i believe it's the time for the nations and the people of the world to come together behind a common purpose. >> a presidential push at the climate change summit. president obama sooesz the world stage and scolds world leaders. he says time is running out to combat a plan to fight global warming. let's get the latest from ed henry who is there. ed, good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning, heidi. you're absolutely right, that time is running out on trying to get a climate deal, so as soon as the president landed here in copenhagen, he ripped up his schedule and jumped into what really became an emergency meeting between among about 20 leaders from key countries trying to work something out. as you noted, the president was very direct in saying that enough is enough. stop the posturing, let's get a
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deal done. >> ladies and gentlemen, there's no time to waste. america's made our choice. we have charted our course, we have made our commitments, we will do what we say. now i believe it's the time for the nations and the people of the world to come together behind a common purpose. we are ready to get this done today. but there has to be movement on all sides to recognize that it is better for us to act than to talk. >> reporter: now, the president, what he's basically talking about is cutting emissions, having a deal where all the great powers will step up and talk about what emissions they'll cut. he also wants more transparency to make sure countries like china are actually following through and finally talking about money, making sure the u.s. and other large powers step up to help fund fighting global warming among developing
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countries that don't have as much money. i just talked about some of these issues in an exclusive sitdown with speaker nancy pelosi. she's here with a congressional delegation. i pressed her on the fact that there are some environmental groups that think the president should have gone further. some of the environmental groups have responded to the president's remarks by saying they're glad he had a call to action but they're disappointed he wasn't more specific on u.s. emission targets and exactly what the u.s. will do to back it up in terms of getting something through congress. you went out there first, you got it through the house. it's been stalled in the senate. nobody really has a good handle on whether it can get through in 2010 with health care, the economy. >> it will get through. i just met with the ministers of the european union and i want to remove all doubt. this bill will get through the united states senate and it will pass the congress and be signed by the president in this congress, which means in the year 2010. >> reporter: you can hear right
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there a vow from the speaker of the house that this will get done on capitol hill in 2010. however, easier said than done. as you know it's been stalled in the senate. a big fight over a carbon tax. republicans saying that something like that will essentially hurt american businesses, lead them to layoff more people. right now with 10% unemployment, something that is not needed. the speaker told me that's absurd and that the tax he's talking about will not hurt american businesses. this fight will continue for some time to come, heidi. >> sounds like it. we'd be remiss if we didn't talk about how high the stakes are for president obama in copenhagen. >> reporter: they're huge. let's face it, the president put the pressure on himself. originally he was supposed to come at the beginning of this two-week summit. then he changed it when the white house thought maybe a deal was coming together. they wanted to make sure he was here in the final hours to push it along and get some political credit. if a dpielz through, he's likely now in the reverse, get some of the political blame.
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i remember when i was here last time with the president a couple of months ago he was making a last-minute push for the olympics. that fell flat. we'll see what happens today, heidi. >> all right, we'll be watching. ed henry, thank you. i want to tell you about this late-night vote too. it puts the senate one step closer to paying for the wars in iraq and afghanistan. the vote after midnight closed debate on a $636 billion spending measure. it provides money for the wars. also includes an expansion of benefits for millions of unemployed americans. a final vote on the spending bill could come as early as tomorrow. voting on that spending measure clears the way for the senate to focus on the health care debate. speaking of, senate democrats are doing battle with each other now over health care. majority leader harry reid could release the latest version of his $1 trillion, ten-year plan today but he faces a lot of opposition from within his own party over a decision to drop the public option and scrap a
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provision allowing aging baby boomers to buy into medicare. labor leaders are not happy with the measure either, saying it's too soft on the insurance industry. senator reid wants to pass the bill before christmas. yesterday he accused republicans of using stall tactics to prevent the bill from coming to a vote. >> made their point to the american people. they made it perfectly clear that they have no interest in cooperating or really legislating but the families and businesses are suffering, hurting and dying every single day, have no time for these kinds of games. that's why we're going to finish health care whether the other side cooperates or not. >> the only conceivable justification for rushing this bill is the overwhelming, overwhelming opposition of the american people. democrats know that the longer americans see this bill, the less they like it. >> thanks to the efforts of so many people, including our
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leadership, we have turned american public opinion because we've been informing them of the consequences of pass abage of t legislation. >> if the senate passes a health care bill, its version will have to be merged, of course, with the house plan, which still does include that public option. we'll continue to follow this long story, i'm sure. a disappointed father now won't be able to bring his son home for the holidays. that after a brazilian supreme court justice decided to hold up yesterday's planned reunion in the much-watched international custody case. >> i've been down this road for five years. it's another setback and it's very sad. >> reporter: not exactly the happy home for the holidays ending david goldman hoped for. instead, more heart break for the new jersey dad who arrived in rio de janeiro hoping to finally bring home his son. >> it's very discouraging. >> reporter: only to learn a
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brazilian supreme court justice had blocked the transfer of sean to his only surviving parent, ruling the child had to first be heard from in court. >> i honestly believe that the justice system does not want to be looked at as a country that is a safe haven for kidnappers that will allow a child to remain separated from their only parent and try to turn that child against that parent and then demand a 9-year-old, innocent, vulnerable, psychologically damaged child to speak in a court is beyond cruel. >> reporter: and it sends a message no court wants to send. according to cnn legal analyst jeffrey tuben. >> they introduce the idea of we need to get the feelings of the child, we need to interview the child. well, if that's the rule, then the lesson to be learned is you should kidnap a child as young as possible so that they identify with their captors and ask to stay. >> reporter: a lawyer for the family in brazil says sean is
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happy where he is and wants to stay there. but new jersey congressman chris smith, who's been helping goldman in his bid to reunite with his son, believes the brazilian courts will ultimately rule in his favor. >> this justice could have done the right thing. he chose poorly and unwisely. this has become a major impairment to the brazilian government, and i do believe the supreme court of brazil is hague illiterate, they understand the hague convention and will appropriately apply it's provisions and sean will be on a plane home. boy, oh boy, there is some weather out there and it is far-reaching too. rob marciano has been covering all of it. the eastern seaboard here getting hammered. >> southeast especially, raining heavily in places like alabama, north georgia and florida. flooding rains in some cases. there's a lot of energy coming out of the gulf of mexico in the
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form of this low and some atmospheric energy combining with it to really get this storm winding up. so with that, we've got some issues, especially down across parts of southern florida where rainfall has been heavy and continues to be heavy with this last batch of convection coming into the naples area, across alligator alley and towards fort lauderdale and broward county which has seen the brunt of the rainfall so far. here are the pictures that have been coming into the cnn newsroom. people, their vehicles submerged in water across this area. very dramatic stuff. obviously an inconvenience to say the least. last half hour we saw -- that looks like he's going to get stuck. >> don't do that. >> anyway, that's not smart. we've seen that 100 times. check out some of these numbers. 7.7 in fort lauderdale, but that was ending at 1:00 a.m. so you've got to add two or three inches on top of that. we'll call it 10 inches or a foot of rainfall in parts of south florida with this system that is just getting itself together.
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so you take that sort of juice, that sort of moisture and we've got a lot of it falling across alabama and parts of georgia. and you drop it and move it towards some pretty cold air, we're going to have some problems. temperatures right now in d.c., 27 degrees or so. teens across parts of new york. so this rain is going to turn to snow across this part of the world and that could create some problems. if you're doing some travel today, believe it or not today is the best day over the next several. atlanta right now seeing 30-minute delays. bwi 30. you'll be probably an hour or more tomorrow. chicago 30 minutes and newark seeing 30-minute delays. if you're doing any sort of travel tomorrow, sunday or even into monday from d.c. up to boston there's going to be some problems. the d.c. airports may very well shut down for a couple of hours if they can't keep up with the snowfall rates. they could see over a foot of snow in the d.c. area come this time or at least tomorrow afternoon. >> hmm, really.
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>> yes, sorry. >> i just -- it's the luck that i have, you know. i'm going to get in and get out on the same day. i'm going to try that, upon your advice. >> i wander you, just take some action. >> hey, it's been done. rob, thank you. i know you've got a lot on your plate. we'll stay in close contact. meanwhile insurgents stealing military secrets using cheap software online, hacking into u.s. drones over iraq. the u.s. military says it was a necessary risk. another person calling for her grandmother. she thinks it's her soup huh? i'm told she's in the garden picking herbs. she is so cute. okay i'll hold. she's holding. wha? (announcer) progresso. you gotta taste this soup. who switched from geico to allstate... saved an average of $473 a year? no way! way. ♪ (voice 2) how bad is it? (voice 1) traffic's off the chart...
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it caused no significant military damage. that's what joint chiefs chairman admiral mike mullen is saying about iraqi insurgent hackers. a u.s. official confirms insurgents were able to hack into u.s. drones flying over iraq to see the same video feeds seen by the military. elaine quijano has more. >> reporter: the software in question costs as little as $25.95, made by a russian company the skygrabber program allows users to take advantage of unprotected communications links. as "the wall street journal" first reported and a u.s. official confirmed to cnn, insurgents used the program to intercept live feeds from u.s. military predator drones monitoring targets in iraq. >> what was surprising was that the military computers -- the military drones weren't using hardened technology. >> reporter: a senior defense official did not deny the breach but insists the problem is an
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old issue for the military, one that's been addressed and fixed. yet another official said this is sometimes a risk the military is willing to take, because encrypting slows down the real-time video feed when multiple people need to watch simultaneously. still, one expert says this is exactly what happened in bosnia years ago and should never have happened in iraq. >> we assumed that our enemies would be dumb. we assumed they wouldn't catch up to our technology. we assumed because they were in a place like iraq or afghanistan they couldn't pull it off. well, what happens when you assu assume. >> reporter: in fact a 2005 cia report reports saddam hussein was suspected to be doing can the same thing, monitoring u.s. installations after iraqi hackers located and downloaded the unencrypted satellite feed from military drones. as for these latest breaches, a u.s. official says no american troops or combat missions were compromised, but p.w. singer, author of "wired for war" says
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the breach should serve as a wake-up call. >> there are other potential adversaries out there that have much, much bigger budgets, certain large nation states. the kinds of things they're going to do make this look silly. >> reporter: one of the highest profile uses of drones has been in pakistan where they have been used to hit al qaeda and taliban targets on that side of the border. informed sources tell cnn those drones are not vulnerable to this software because they do use the latest encryption technology and because they're used in a much more limited capacity than the military drones. y -- elaine quijano, cnn, the pentagon. the nation's top military official is in iraq today. admiral mike mullen is visiting u.s. troops in basra. he headed to iraq after a three-day stop in afghanistan. mullen says he expects iraq will hold elections in march and the u.s. will begin withdrawing troops as scheduled that same month. in pakistan at least 12 people are dead after a car bomb
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exploded mere a police compound. it happened in northwest pakistan where troops have been battling militant fighters. 28 others were injured in the blast. the police chief says the suicide bomb exploded just as police were leaving a mosque after friday prayers. cleared after 35 years thanks to new dna tests. it's a story we've heard before about a florida man who's a free man saying he's ready to get on with his life. boss: come a long way, that's for sure. and so have you since you started working here way back when. gecko: ah, i still have nightmares. anncr: geico. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance.
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with new marie callender's home-style creations. marie callender's home-style creations -- a little touch of home for lunch. [ male announcer ] becky loves marie callender's home-style creations. but where does she find them? not in the freezer section. that's why becky uses gps. not that kind. go to the pasta or soup aisle to find marie callender's home-style creations. keep up the good work, becky. time to check some of the top stories we're watching this morning. a florida man got out of prison 35 years after being wrongly convicted of rape. >> mr. bain, i am now signing the order, sir. you are a free man. congratulations. >> james bain says he's not angry. he was freed after dna evidence proved him innocent. bain in fact spent more time in
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prison than any other inmate later freed by new dna tests. the 54-year-old now says he wants to travel. and are you hacked off this morning? you might be if you tried to tweet overnight. hackers successfully broke into the popular microblogging site twitter.com. millions were left tweetless, but the problem seems to have been fixed now. an oklahoma judge is reviewing a controversial abortion law today that could lead to every procedure being cataloged online for anyone to see. the law, which would take effect in 2011, requires doctors to fill out a questionnaire documenting race, marital status and educational background of their abortion patients. they'd also have to ask why, but they don't have to include the patient's name. supporters say it sets up a database that could help prevent future unwanted pregnancies. opponents call it an invasion of privacy. we're talking about this story on our blog this morning. what do you think about posting
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information online about women who have abortions? just go to cnn.com/heidi and let us know. i'll read some of the comments later on in the show. 'tis the season for holiday parties and holiday drinking, but be warned some cocktails can leave you with a brutal hangover.
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doctors in brazil are preparing to perform emergency surgery right now on a 2-year-old boy who has 42 needles in his body. one of the needles has punctured the boy's heart. these are x-rays now of the boy takeneler this week. his stepfather is under arrest. he said his girlfriend told him to put the two-inch long needles
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through the boy's skin. they were discovered when the boy's mother took him to a doctor after he complained of pain. the holidays are here and if you keep in the spirit by drinking lots of spirits then you might want to listen up. some types of alcohol can leave you with a much worse hangover than others. elizabeth cohen is joining us now. there's so much i could say here. why are some types worse than others? what happens to the body? >> it's about how they ferment the alcohol and how many toxins end up in it. i must say i've never seen a study quite like this one. what researchers did at boston university and university of rhode island is they got college -- got university students drunk. they recruited 95 university students in the greater boston area. >> that never happens. >> but they got them drunk in a very controlled way. they put them in the room and got them well beyond the legal limit of drunkenness. sometimes they gave them bourbon and sometimes they gave them
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vodka and then they looked to see how their hangovers were the next day and they found that bourbon gave them a worse hangover, apparently because it has more of these impurities. and this is, i'm sure you'll be shocked at this, heidi, they found that the day after when they had these hangovers, they had decreased cognitive skills. >> wow! >> yeah, there's a whole section of this study devoted just to that. >> shocking. i'm sorry, who funded this study? >> you and me. this was funneleded in part my the national institutes of health. >> come on. where's the outrage? i don't think anybody knew about it. >> who knew. it's very interesting. >> unbelievable. well, hey, i guess while we're on the topic, any advice on avoiding a hangover. >> yes, this is also shocking. the advice to avoiding a hangover is don't drink so much. we'll try to get more specific. when you're drinking, drink water every other drink so maybe a little vodka, a little water, a little vodka, a little drink.
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dilute the drinks. don't drink on an empty stomach and pace yourself. i'm laughing while i say this because really what it's all about is just don't drink that much. >> and certainly, if we can take a moment, don't drive after you do it, please. >> exactly. >> so i want to hear more about this study later on and where they got the money from and how it works, that the taxpayers paid for it. i bet you'll hear a lot on your website as well. >> i'm sure we will. >> elizabeth cohen, thank you. a snapshot of america's charities struggling to get enough so that they can give enough this holiday season. (announcer) it's what doctors recommend most for headaches. what doctors recommend for arthritis pain... in your hands... knees... and back. for little bodies with fevers... and big bodies on high blood pressure medicine. tylenol works with your body in a way other pain relievers don't... so you feel better...
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we are following a huge storm that is shaping up all along the east coast and rob marciano has been a busy man in the weather center tracking this thing. what do we need to know at the very moment. >> at the moment heavy rain is falling in some cases flooding rain from alabama through georgia and down across florida. we've seen pictures coming in to us from broward county where in some cases over 10 inches of rain has fallen, so needless to
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say in that flat country street flooding is a bit of an issue. also at the moment due to these two areas of low pressure, we've got a tornado watch in effect for parts of southern florida until 2:00 eastern time. so here it is, the watch itself about right through here, but you can see the latest burst of convection is heading across alligator alley just south of ft. myers and about to get into the fort lauderdale area, hollywood beach. the areas that got the rain overnight and early morning, a bit of a break but more heavy rain coming toward you. also flood watches in through this swath and a burst of pretty good rainfall just north of birmingham right now. all of this rain and moisture, deep moisture is getting into a area with pretty chilly air. temperatures around the d.c. area are in the 20s right now, pretty dry air as well. as far as what kind of snowfall amounts we're thinking about right now, probably 12 inches in
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d.c. plus, maybe more than that. new york could see anywhere from 6 to 10 inches. more so across eastern long island. and then the waves and the wind will be with this. a blizzard watch has been posted for parts of long island. all right, so here we go. this is the track of this thing and that's the key, the track. if it goes farther out to sea, that drops these numbers down significantly. if it takes the forecast track we think it's going to take or at least the computer models say, 1 to 2 feet isolated spots, especially in some of the hillier terrain. so we definitely have issues there. issues across parts of atlanta where it's very wet. this is such great video. i know we've been talking about flooding but snowing on the eiffel tower. you just don't see that very often. they g they got three or four inches of snow. shut down the eiffel tower a little bit. unusually cold, as you can imagine, from london all the way down to rome. a chance for snow here over the
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weekend. so that kid doesn't care, he's just happy. that's right. right into the lens. we might see scenes of that. we will see scenes of that around this time tomorrow in d.c., philly and eventually in new york. >> all right. all right. well, i'll keep you posted because i'll be there, not moving very far. all right, rob, thanks. all he wants is his son back, but now a new jersey man faces another setback in an international custody battle to bring his boy home. yes, she does. [ ding ] you guys rock! yeah, we do. [ male announcer ] smartphones, plans, and no annoying mail-in rebates. the best gifts come from best buy.
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a rough economy and the holiday season are never a good mix, as you well know. not for families trying to make
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the days special, that's for sure, and not for charities trying to meet increased need while they see their donations drop. we're focusing on those charities in today's snapshot across america. joining us this morning from washington, major george hood with the salvation army. also in washington, major bill grine with toys for tots. in miami, lynn cameron whose organization runs an adopt a family program. and then in memphis, rick shadyake is ceo, the funding arm for st. jude's children's hospital. appreciate you guys being here so very much. i really appreciate the work that you all do. i want to talk to you a little about this because obviously everyone is concerned about the economy and when you are a nonprofit and when you are trying to give, if you will, i would imagine that things have been really affected. major hood, i want to start with you. everybody knows about the bell ringers and the red kettles that the salvation army organizes
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every year, we all see them this holiday season. remind us and our viewers, where exactly the money that is collected in those kettles goes. >> well, it's important for everyone to understand that our christmas fund-raising is community-based. all of the money that is raised in a local community through that red kettle program stays in that community to address the needs of that particular community. >> all right. so then take a moment to tell me how this year compares with last year for you and the salvation army. >> well, there's no question. we have our challenges in front of us. last year was a record-setting year for our red kettle program. $130 million was donated by the american public. this year we're realizing that the economy is having an impact. we're lagging behind about 6% as we look across the country, so there's a few days left. we have our work cut us for us. because the need in reverse to that, the need is extensive.
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almost 100% increase in some communities. >> wow, wow. 100%. and i know that you tried to take some measures to make it easier for people to give to, because the fact of the matter is some people just don't hold cash, so you have done something with credit cards, right? >> we're making it easier to give. if you don't have cash in your pocket, you can swipe a credit card and make whatever size contribution you want. what we're learning is that the average gift is approximately $15 per consumer that uses that option. and so we are feeling very good about it, but it's tough to get those credit cards swiped when increment weather comes along. >> major grine i want to get to you and your organization, which is toys for tots. tell us a little bit if you could first about the program, just in case somebody has not heard of it. >> well, toys for tots is a marine-run program. it's very simple. marines collect toys, books and
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other gifts locally to give to locally less fortunate children. it's very simple. what we do, we do it during the christmas holiday season every year. >> how does this year compare for toys for tots over last year? >> well, you know, every year we start the season out knowing that we're going to run out of gifts before we run out of less fortunate children, sadly. but each year we hope to do better than we did or at least as well as we did in the previous year. this year we're not so confident. we sent a request out to all 691 of our units a couple of weeks ago asking who needs help. more than any previous year, we had a lot of units come back and say we had a lot of requests, a lot more requests for toys than we have in the past and fewer toys donated and less dollars donated as well. >> yeah, yeah, understood. all right.
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i just wonder what's the best way if somebody is watching right now to get a toy to a child? >> the best way is to contact the local marines, go to our website at toysfortots.org an we have a list of all the units. you can look up the unit closest to you and track them down and call to arrange to give a toy or to receive a toy. this is the last weekend, however, that we're going to be very active so you need to move quickly. >> all right, very good. thank you so much. lynn, i want to talk about your organization for a moment here as well, adopt a family. you're with neighbor for neighbor, but tell us how your program works. >> our program is a little different in that it's a more personal experience because we came out of hurricane andrew. so many people really like to meet the family that they're helping and we find that often a mentoring relationship develops. so what we do is we work with social service agencies as well
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as people who self nominate and we match them up with caring businesses, companies, groups, organizations and other families who just want to provide some christmas decorations and gifts and friendship. it's a really special opportunity. we are very blessed because we have a partnership with cbs 4 in miami, so we're able to use the media to sort of put a face on the need. i think we find that we are inherently good as people and we really do want to reach out to others. our biggest problem is that people always want to adopt the little ones and we need things for teenagers as well. >> yeah, understood. same question i asked the others, how does this year compare to last year? >> the need is tremendously up. there are so many people who have never had to ask before, who have never had to put their hand out. they're calling and we're working very hard to raise toys. we've collected a couple of thousand toys through bank atlantic down here, who has opened up all of their branches
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to collect toys, and we get gift cards for every kid over 10, but the need is huge this year. >> okay, okay, understood that's definitely what we're hearing from almost everybody. finally to you, rick, of st. jude's children's hospital. we see the ads on television every year. you guys have the thanks and giving campaign each year that we should mention. tell us how that works. >> well, we're in the middle of our thanks and giving campaign right now. it's a fund-raising and awareness program to raise the necessary funds to operate st. jude's children's research hospital. we're the hospital in memphis, tennessee, though that treats kids from all 50 states and throughout the world. we see about 5700 kids per year. and we share our research really throughout the world. we're also the institution where no child is ever turned away because of an inability to pay. we cover all costs not covered by insurance, including transportation and housing and things of that nature, heidi. >> great, great, very good.
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obviously that takes money. so if i were to ask you how this year compares to last year, what would you say? >> well, overall our fund-raising is down a bit. we're down about 10%, but we're in the middle of our thanks and giving campaign right now and we're cautiously optimistic that we're going to do very, very well. we think the american public will shop and embrace our corporate partners and we're in the middle of that right now. we believe that we're actually going to exceed our goal from last year. >> wow, that's terrific. hey, i love your tie, by the way. is that curious george? >> no, no, no. that's a st. jude children's research hospital tie. we try to embody what we're all about. we treat kids from all across the world and all across the united states. >> terrific. i can only see the very upper portion. i knew it was a kid tie. i love it. to the four of you, we sure do appreciate your time in telling us this situation and god bless you for all the work that you do.
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thanks again, guys. >> thank you. checking our top stories now. salvaging a deal on carbon emissions at the global climate conference. president obama rearranged his entire schedule this morning and went straight to an emergency meeting with 20 other key leaders. the president told leaders that no country is going to get, quote, everything that it wants there. he urged them to accept a less-than-perfect agreement to fight climate change. >> it's better for us to choose action over inaction. the future over the past. and with courage and faith, i believe that we can meet our responsibilities to our people and the future of our planet. >> the two-week-long conference appeared stalled as late as yesterday, but a u.s. offer to help raise $100 billion to assist developing nations addressed their climate change needs may have helped. an international custody
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battle gets uglier now. an american father, david goldman, arrived in brazil after a court ruled in favor of his custodial rights. as he got ready to return to new jersey with his 9-year-old son, brazil supreme court stepped in and ordered yet another review. the case has dragged on for mower than five years. los angeles police have released two new composite sketches of a man believed to have killed at least 11 people since 1985. the sketches released yesterday use age enhancement techniques to show what the man dubbed the grim sleeper might look like today. the sketches are based on a description given by a woman who survived a 1988 assault. cleaning up the environment and fixing the economy one hybrid at a time. is it is it a practical solution? we've got some answers coming your way. and if you think all batteries are the same, consider this: these batteries are going... to the mattel children's hospital, u.c.l.a . because here they use the most...
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technologically advanced equipment for the healing... and the play. and to power all those toys the people at duracell... packed up a truckload of batteries. because nothing's better than powering a smile. duracell. trusted everywhere. right now 1.2 million people are on sprint mobile broadband. 31 are streaming a sales conference from the road. 154 are tracking shipments on a train. 33 are iming on a ferry.
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and 1300 are secretly checking email on a vacation. that's happening now. america's most dependable 3g network. bringing you the first and only wireless 4g network. right now get a free 3g/4g device for your laptop. sprint. the now network. deaf, hard-of-hearing and people with speech disabilities access www.sprintrelay.com it's monday, some people will stick with their old way of getting vitamins and minerals. others will try incredible total raisin bran. with 100% of the daily value of 11 essential vitamins and minerals, juicy raisins and crunchy whole grain flakes. guess it's all about what kind of crunch you like. how are you getting 100%? what doctors recommend for arthritis pain... in your hands... knees... and back. for little bodies with fevers...
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and big bodies on high blood pressure medicine. tylenol works with your body in a way other pain relievers don't... so you feel better... knowing doctors recommend tylenol more than any other brand of pain reliever. it's that time of year the temperature is dropping and people are cranking up their thermostats, but for millions of people it's not an option. a new study says a record number of americans cannot pay their energy bills. susan lisovicz is on the floor of the new york stock exchange now with more details on this. boy, you hate to hear that, susan. >> reporter: yes, and especially when temperatures are so bitter right now in so many parts of the country, heidi. four million households had their -- had their power turned
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off this year due to nonpayment. that is an increase of 5%. this despite the fact that the government doubled funding for assistance this year to $5 billion. that allowed it to help more families with more money. eight million households received government heating assistance this year, which is a record high. the average government grant, $500. $500. a lot of people left in the cold right now, heidi. >> no question. when you talk about unemployment bowing in the double digits, it's presumably a problem that is going to get worse. >> reporter: that's right. because even though the economy is showing signs of strength, the job market is still weak. it's something the federal reserve said earlier this week when it kept interest rates at a historic low. the consumer advocacy group that put out these numbers says it expects applications for assistance next year to jump
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20%. >> really. >> reporter: so it's something that is going to be in need for some time and hopefully the government will be able to respond to these people who are suffering right now. one thing that we are seeing warm up is -- well, we saw the warm up. the dow just dipped into negative territory but the nasdaq is getting a nice run today, a nice rally because of some positive earnings reports with oracle and the maker of blackberry, research in motion, so we're seeing a rally there. but the dow, starting to see a little bit of pressure. heidi. >> all right, susan. sure do appreciate that. we'll be watching those numbers throughout the day. meanwhile as president obama pushes for a climate change agreement in copenhagen, he's also focused on cutting grown house gas emissions here at home. one of the keys is improving vehicle fuel efficiency, but there are of course some challenges to that. allison has our energy fix from new york. hi there, allison. >> reporter: heidi, you know the administration has a pretty
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ambitious plan. it wants to see one million plug-in and hybrid electric cars on the road by 2015 but the cost of it could be a major obstacle. there's a new study from the national research council that finds that next year it's going to cost $18,000 more to manufacture a plug-in hybrid than a conventional car and that's because the battery is so expensive. it could be decades before the up-front costs come down enough to cover the fuel savings. let's look at gm's chevy volt. it goes on sale next year but the report find it won't be cost effective for buyers until the year 2040. that's assuming of course that gas prices hold below $4 a gallon. gm of course shot back, calling the nrc's battery cost estimates bloated and says they're going to come down quickly. >> these cars are expensive and may not actually pay for themselves for years, how will they ever catch on? >> reporter: exactly. to make these cars more attractive to buyers, the study
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says big government subsidies are going to be needed. that's something we're seeing. the stimulus act provides a federal tax credit up to $7500 for plug-in hybrids next year that. would bring the volt's $40,000 price tag down below $33,000. at the same time, ordinary gas-powered cars keep getting more fuel efficient. they're a lot cheaper and don't need to be plugged in so definitely some challenges for reaching the administration's goal of one million plug-ins on the road by 2015. now, if you want to read more on this story, go to cnnmoney.com and you can also follow us on twitter. heidi. >> very good. allison, thanks so much. appreciate that. quickly want to take you to washington, d.c., now where the mayor there, adrian fenty, you see at the podium is getting ready to sign a same-sex marriage act that was approved by the city council earlier this week. again, legalizing gay marriage. let's go ahead and listen in for a moment.
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>> -- grew up in the neighborhood and this is one of the churches that my parents would have brought me to when i was a little boy. things have a way of coming full circle when you're mayor. my parents are here with me. please stand, mom and dad. my parents know a little something about marriage equality, married almost 40 years ago in a country that at the time, every jurisdiction didn't agree that an interracial couple should be married. had they not been able to, i wouldn't be standing here as mayor of the district of columbia right now. so as we embark on this great
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milestone, it is as reverend hardy said, it is because we are thinking about the couples and their families and the great lives that they will have because of bills like this in washington, d.c., and other places. i want to thank a couple of people before i make my formal remarks. first and foremost, the council of the district of columbia, who's shown amazing leadership -- [ applause ] i know the chairman is on the way, but let's take -- and a couple of them are going to speak, but let's have all of them stand. councilmember muriel bowser.
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councilmember harry thomas from ward 5 is here. thank you so much. >> all right. once again we are watching the public ceremony here where the washington, d.c., mayor is at the podium getting ready to sign the same-sex marriage act which passed city council a little earlier in the week, but as you well know it still has to go for review to congress, which always has the final say over laws, d.c. laws of course. once again, same-sex marriages in the nation's capital getting one step closer to legal here. we'll continue to follow that story throughout the day. a quick break now. s work. sorry, son. [ female announcer ] you can't pass inspection with pieces left behind. introducing new charmin ultra strong. its new enhanced diamondweave texture is soft and more durable. more durable so you're left with a more dependable clean.
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fewer pieces left behind. bottom. check. [ female announcer ] and that charmin softness. new charmin ultra strong. look for it in the new red package. for those who prefer moist wipes, try new charmin freshmates for a cleaner clean. on the highway? or a back seat and a trunk? the five passenger, trunk-equipped chevy cobalt xfe. with an impressive 37 miles per gallon highway. may the best car win. but this sure says a lot: the 5-year, 100,000 mile transferable powertrain warranty from chevy. with roadside assi0mance and courtesy transportation, it's the best coverage in america. immune plus shot. this little shot is more like a big shot of-- (dog barking) ...for your immune system. feel the-- (dog barking) feel the good
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a controversial abortion law is being reviewed today by an oklahoma judge. the law would require doctors to ask patients about the reasons for having the procedure as well as their race, marital status and educational history. all that information would then be posted on the internet through the -- though the patient's name would be left out. so that brought us to today's blog question. we asked you what you think this b this oklahoma law, if the information was offered up voluntarily, that would be fine, but to make it mandatory should not be legal. has anyone even thought that this might make women seek out subpar abortion procedures in order to avoid questioning?
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that from our first viewer there, from amber. now this from gayle. this law is just another way men want to control women. i propose that any man who wants drugs like viagra be subject to the same scrutiny. see how they like it. then from melissa, having had an abortion as a teen, i believe that it would be distinguish g to collect the information. it would improve outreach programs and other resources for women. abortion is a personal choice. still, all choices hold some level of accountability. if a mere questionnaire is the only level of accountability, then i think it is fair and helpful. remember, we always like hearing from you. just go ahead and log on to cnn.com/heidi and share your comments there. well, i hope you have a great weekend, everybody. i'm heidi collins. cnn newsroom continues with tony harris. it is friday, december 18th. here are the faces of the stories behind today's headlines. jean paul lacombe diaz, subject of a

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